I was prepared to begin my taxes, I thought, and was looking forward to an easy time of it - all I did in 2009 was work for Vanderbilt, and I keep my Bolivian tin mine investing under the table.* Then a form 1099-MISC came in the mail for some income I had forgotten. (Hey, I was paid in early 2009 - for work done in mid 2008. Was it any wonder it had receded into the mists of time?)
The form itself fascinates me. Some of the categories on it are straightforward, such as "1 Rents" and "4 Federal income tax withheld." Others are much more interesting: "5 Fishing boat proceeds" - "10 Crop insurance proceeds" - and (my favorite) "13 Excess golden parachute payments." Alas, I have nothing in any of these categories.
*Dear IRS: I don't actually invest in Bolivian tin mines. Please don't audit me.